My friend Trish, founder of The Healing Moon Wellness Center, used to send me quotes every week from Terry Lynn Taylor and Mary Beth Crain. Sometimes when I’m feeling stumped, I often go back to look over these little tidbits of wisdom. Here’s one that stood out for me this week: “I know that true learning is a process of discovering my own thoughts and feelings about life.” I guess this is what Mark Twain meant when he said, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
When we want to make big changes in our lives, we often have to unlearn the things we were schooled to believe. If you read my article titled, “Are You Working from Assumption” earlier this month, you know that apprehension-based assumptions are one such hurdle. Others are ingrained beliefs about work and work ethic, success, and what we really deserve out of life. These thought-habits can really hold us back if we don’t make an effort to change them.
Have you ever taken a course or workshop that made you sit back and say, “This is going to change my life?” Probably, you got all revved up for a couple of weeks—but then, you fell off the wagon somehow, and went right back to the habits you were trying to break.
They say that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and 90 days to create or change a behavior. The habits which hold us back in our lives and careers often have roots as far back as our childhoods. Many times, these behaviors are unconscious: we don’t even realize that we’re living them.
If you’re feeling stuck, do something to shift things up. Take an inventory of your behaviors, reactions, and go-to remedies. If you’re having a hard day, do you remind yourself that it’s no more than you deserve, because you didn’t do well enough in college/work hard enough last year/please your parents when you were a kid? That’s a behavior and an outdated rule, you can change it at anytime. When you complete a project, do you smile for thirty seconds, then move immediately on to the next challenge, because you could have done better? That’s a behavior, too. (I am notorious for that one! Much improved on it over the years though.) Step back and observe, make your list, and then pick just one behavior to work on over the next 90 days (or 60, or 30). When you notice yourself participating in this behavior, stop, take a step back, and try something different. You can do this with a partner or without; what’s important is that you do it.
If you need a simpler place to start, put a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever you catch yourself thinking habitual negative thoughts that don’t serve you, give that rubber band a snap. It’s an old trick, but it works.
No matter what changes you decide to make, or what habits you decide to break, may your personal ideal of success and fulfillment be your guiding light. Just because you’ve always been somewhere doesn’t mean there’s nowhere else for you to be. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…but sometime it is. In other words, if you’re not standing in the sunshine, it’s time to find a new yard.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! http://www.coachdq.com